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How to Bear Fruit

Basket of Fruit and Pumpkin PieKey Bible Verses: The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Dig Deeper: John 15: 1-8

After telling the believers in Galatia they couldn’t perfect themselves with hard work,  Paul listed the fruit of the Spirit found in today’s Key Bible Verses.  Notice that Paul focuses on fruit, not efforts.  Fruit is the by-product of walking with God in faith.

Can we really not produce such things by ourselves?  According to Jesus, no, not apart from him.  Christ told his followers: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15: 5, ESV).

The goal of this week’s readings is not for you to swear you’ll do better at this or for you to promise you’ll never again do that.  Change is possible, but dependence on God is absolutely foundational.  We must move beyond self-help into full surrender and godly dependence.

True heart-level renovation takes a Master Carpenter—One who crafted your heart from the start, then redeemed it, then began a transformation in you that he will be faithful to complete (Phil. 1: 6).

Remember, your commitment to change is not a means to get God to act on your behalf.  He already has.

—Mike Ashcraft in My One Word

My Response: When I try to improve, do I trust God to work within me?  Or is my motivation often to seek his approval or to influence him to “act on my behalf”?

Thought to Apply: “Being” is far more important than “doing.”  When we are what we should be inside, we will bring forth fruit. —Billy Graham (evangelist)

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